First impressions of the HP Mini 2140 netbook

25 Comments

The HP Mini 2140 netbook was waiting for me at Mobile Tech Manor when I returned from San Francisco last night but I didn’t open it up until this morning.  The 2140 is the refreshed version of the original Mini-note 2133 and while it looks the same there are a few differences under the hood.

The 2133 had the Via C-7 processor which was not as good as the Atom but HP released that netbook so early in the game that the Atom was not available at thetime.  HP wisely kept all the features of the 2133 that were good when they refreshed this new version and it uses pretty much the same case.  This means that sweet keyboard is still there and it is still the best netbook keyboard I have used to date.

Here’s the configuration of the evaluation unit I am testing:

cimg1213

This SKU ships with both the 3-cell and the 6-cell battery which is providing about 7 hours on the first charge.  That is more than enough and is better battery life with this Atom processor than I saw with the Via in the older model.

This unit shipped with Windows XP Home SP2 which caused me some problems at first.  Remember this is an evaluation unit and not a production unit so it didn’t have XP SP3 installed as it came to me.  I couldn’t connect to my wireless network as a result because I have it set to not broadcast the SSID and SP2 is missing the configuration option that is present in SP3 where you can configure the connection to happen even without that broadcast SSID.  I had to make a wired connection to my network, upgrade to SP3, and then set that one option to finally make the wireless connection OK.

I have only been using the Mini 2140 for a few hours but so far I am very pleased.  I can type like a speed demon using this keyboard and that is very sweet.  The 10.1-inch display is much better than the smaller 8.9-inch display on the 2133 and it’s easier to work with as a result.  The display resolution is 1024 x 576 which is giving me some problems with extended usage, especially that 576 height.  It really restricts the amount of information I can see at once, especially in the browser, and the high-res version that will be available in a few months will be much better.

The Mini 2140 has handled everything I’ve tried with aplomb with the exception of viewing high quality video.  It stutters so much that it is not feasible to do, something I have also seen on all Atom-based netbooks I have tested.  Everything else works like a dream and even multi-tasking works very well.  Plus that keyboard…  did I say how nice it is?  I have typed this article on the keyboard and at full speed, just as accurately as I would have done using a larger keyboard.  It’s really sweet.

I’ll have the 2140 for a few more days and I’ll keep posting my thoughts about it as I go but meanwhile here are some fast photos I’ve snapped of the netbook:

UPDATE: just to avoid confusion.  The 2140 uses either the 3-cell or the 6-cell battery at one time.  The 7 hours I am getting is with the 6-cell battery by itself.  Some folks were interpreting that both batteries were used at once which is not the case.

25 Comments

elmo

hi
I want get a mini note book. witch one you recommend that have a good resolution and good note book over all?
and it is around $600 or less?
thanks

BoBBy

I just wondering how much dose it cost the 6 cell battery of mini note 2133?coz my mini note 2133 only suvive in 1,5 hours only (using standard 3 cell battery)

James Kendrick

I was just recording a video of the 2140 (available shortly) and remembered that the 2140 uses a different battery than the Mini 1000. The Mini 1000 battery actually attached to the bottom of that device, not the back like the 2140. The extended battery for the Mini 1000 will actually be a wedge on the bottom of the device.

Suf

Hey, can you guys please put up shots of the HP 2140 up against the HP Mini 1000? Please?

CJ

So wait, watching regular YouTube videos lags/studders? and the HQ/HD YouTube Videos studders/lags too much to even be able to watch? that sucks…

(please tell me if im right or wrong i might of misunderstood something… i hope)

James Kendrick

HG, I haven’t spent much time typing on the Wind and while I think that keyboard is very good I know how good the 2140 keyboard is.

Jim, if you’re happy with the 2133 then why upgrade? If not then you’ll appreciate the better performance of the 2140.

Anze, can’t say. The 2140 has literally just been released so it would be crazy to speculate of another refresh in just a few months.

Luscious, I haven’t benchmarked any video, just tried some different stuff. Regular YouTube video can stutter at times although most of the time it plays OK. I agree that true HD is not a good test and I haven’t tried any yet.

Luscious

All the folks asking about better hardware are best advised to wait for the 2150 (aka Pineview refresh) in June.

Youtube HD video is not what I would benchmark James. Get some 720p and 1080p content in WMV-HD format. With 500GB of storage available now on 2.5″ drives, I’d be loading up a dozen full-length HD movies easily.

I can play 720p content on the 2133 without a sweat and it looks amazing. The 2140 might handle 1080p, but that is just silly to do because it doesn’t have a HD output and the LCD lacks the native resolution to display 1080p properly.

Anže

Hi James!

Great to see a first review :)

I’m from the country that won’t be getting their hands on 2140 before March.
So there’s one thing that might bother me about this device -> its hardware!
OK, I guess N270 is alright for now, but in 2 months time I expect a lot more info about N280 and GN40 …
… do you think that there is a possibility that when it comes to EU (like Germany), it will already include new hardware?
(if not, it will be the same stupidity that HP did last year – going on market with old stuff :S)

Tnx & have fun with 2140 ;)

Jim Kallaugher

James: Thanks for your column — I’m a recent convert!

Re: the 2140– I currently have a tricked-out 2133. Would you advise upgrading to the 2140 when it comes out, or holding out for more significant upgrade on HP’s part? Thanks

OnlineJimK

HG

James you say its the best keyboard you used on a Netbook? So you would say the keyboard is better then the MSI Wind?

James Kendrick

dan, it is highly reflective but doesn’t bother me. Some folks can’t stand that so if you’re one then avoid it. No multi-touch, the touchpad is probably too small.

dan

Is the screen as reflective (difficult to see in bright light) as the mini 1000? Also, does the touchpad support any multitouch gestures?

JoeShmo

I hate the way the battery sticks out on the bottom. Doesn’t look good.

James Kendrick

High quality video I tested was mainly YouTube “high quality” videos and full-screen videos. Wasn’t good.

I believe the 2133 and 2140 use the same batteries as the case is the same.

OS X should be doable on the 2140 as the Atom processor netbooks seem to work well with it. The question will be WiFi, ExpressCard slot, etc.

heiko

Now the only thing I need to hear is mac os compatibility. Which should likely be the case, doesn’t it?

Scott Sanders

I have the 2133 and want to upgrade to the hi-res 2140 when it is available……..does it look as if the 6 cell battery is the same for both machines?

Craig

Hey, James, so they sent you a unit with the low-res display? Wow…bummer. The main thing that even attracts me to the 2140 vs. all the other netbooks out there is the option of 1366 x 768 on the monitor.

Ross Wirth

James What does “high quality video” mean?
Does it perform well with internet video (in browser and full screen) -YouTube, Hulu, and the like?

Dave

Hello. A question about the high quality video that stutters on the mini 2140. Are you trying for example youtube or maybe gametrailers high quality videos? I ask because I remember seeing something a while back about the mini 1000 running a high quality movie trailer without problems. Thanks.

JHall

James, Good Review. I am looking forward to the Nvidia Ion Platform for true High Def on a netbook. There is always something brighter in the future in mobile tech. I think they spoon feed everyone with small revisions to sell more products. Just my two cents.

James Kendrick

Fernando, I have written a number of posts that explains that now that I am writing full-time I don’t attend meetings much anymore. These meetings were where I did all my note-taking and used ink daily. I find that I don’t need to ink much at all these days.

Fernando

Hi James: thanks for the pictures and the review. I was wondering what are you using these days for inking. Are you not inking any more? Did I miss that post? :-)

Comments are closed.